MATATO partners with Guesthouse Association to stage Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2018

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has partnered with Guesthouse Association of Maldives (GAM) to stage Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition 2018.

In a statement, MATATO described the partnership as another milestone for the Guesthouse Edition, which will see progressive changes in the future in the light of professional expertise provided by GAM. Through this partnership, GAM will play an important roll to get the guesthouse industry involved and support the efforts to strengthen the awards procedure, it added.

“Guesthouses are today vital part of this industry. And this recognition, we believe, is important. The reason why we have an exclusive edition (for guesthouses) under Travel Awards umbrella. And we are delight to have GAM on board who will bring their expertise and the same commitment that we,” MATATO President Abdulla Ghiyaz Riyaz was quoted in the statement, as saying.

Meanwhile, MATATO has opened nomination for the Guesthouse Edition.

Nominations will close on May 15 following which they would be evaluated and shortlisted to five contenders in each category based on their rating on TripAdvisor, which accounts for 40 percent of the total score.

The shortlisted properties will be put up for popular vote, which accounts for the remaining 60 percent of the final score. Votes can be cast online and via SMS for a period of two months starting June 1, and the winners will be announced at a special gala ceremony in the first week of August.

MATATO and GAM will host the gala night for Guesthouse Edition in Hulhumale, home to a majority of the guesthouses in Maldives.

Introduced last year, the Guesthouse Edition builds on the recognitions awarded to guesthouses by MATATO as part of the Maldives Travel Awards, and celebrates the outstanding performance of the guesthouse sector.

Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards. Some 600 guesthouses have started operations over the past five years as the number of travellers that choose to stay in guesthouses rise.

Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.

Like last year, MATATO will host three editions: the People’s Edition, which recognises successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the tourism industry, a Guesthouse Edition, which celebrates the outstanding performance of the up and coming guesthouse sector, and the Grand Gala, which is exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards.

MATATO will also combine the grand gala with the travel conference happening a day before, bringing an international audience of industry experts.

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